WCO Welcomes APEC Ministerial Statement

19 May 2014

The World Customs Organization (WCO) welcomes the APEC Qingdao Statement adopted at the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting held on 17 and18 May 2014 in Qingdao, China.

The WCO is pleased that the Statement "emphasizes the importance of further simplification and coordination of customs procedures among APEC economies through full implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement [ATF], and the encouragement to use relevant international standards, including those developed by the WCO".

The WCO has developed many trade facilitation instruments and tools, such as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), SAFE Framework of Standards, Single Window Compendium, Time Release Study (TRS) Guide, and WCO Data Model in order to respond to Members’ trade facilitation needs. The WCO has recently launched on its website the WCO Implementation Guidance for the ATF. This guidance tool will support APEC economies in their efforts for implementing the ATF.

Given the importance of improving supply chain connectivity, the APEC Statement highlights a number of Customs-related initiatives including Single Window, Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), Time Release Study as well as the protection of intellectual property rights at the border. In light of its ongoing close cooperation with APEC economies, the WCO will continue to actively support and provide expertise to APEC discussions and projects.

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